Halloween is on Saturday, and I'm super excited to actually be home during trick-or-treating hours to open our door to trick-or-treaters instead of commuting home from work and missing it all. But this year, I'm not handing out candy because this year, I'm participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project.
The Teal Pumpkin Project, launched by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) last year, raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters. Because our child has a chance of having Celiac Disease, we understand that some candy is not safe for kids who can't eat gluten, dairy, nuts, or other foods. And I can't imagine how awkward it must be to go trick or treating for candy and then come home and have to separate out all the candy that you can't actually eat. (I also think a lot of parents can appreciate their child getting a small toy instead of candy because that cuts down on the amount of candy being brought into the house, lessening sugar overload.)
So that's why, with the Teal Pumpkin Project, participating households hand out small toys instead of candy. There are an estimated 100,000 households participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project this year and you can be one of them. In order to do so, sign up to take the Teal Pumpkin pledge, buy some inexpensive non-food treats, and place a teal pumpkin and/or a free printable sign from FARE outside your home to show that you have non-food treats to hand out.
To get a teal pumpkin, I purchased a craft pumpkin at Walmart and painted it teal with acrylic paint. I thought a craft pumpkin would be a good idea because that way I can reuse it year after year.
For my non-food treats, I went to the birthday party aisle of Target to see what they had in terms of party favors. I picked up three bags each containing 12 star-shaped bubble necklaces because what kid doesn't love bubbles?? (And I'd really be surprised if we got more than 48 trick-or-treaters.)
And now, I just sit back and wait for the kiddos to come knocking!